Artnet Auctions specialists share the stories behind 5 works by iconic British artists, from Banksy to Bridget Riley

Live through October 13, Artnet Auctions’ Premier Prints & Multiples sale brings together masterpieces in a range of media, from screenprints and monotypes to etchings and sculptures. The sale is also packed with some of England’s most notable artists including Francis Bacon, Banksy, Ian Davenport, Lucian Freud, David Hockney, Harland Miller. Julian Opie and Bridget Riley. We asked our team of Prints & Multiples specialists to tell us about five of these iconic British artists and their work.

Brigitte Riley

Brigitte RileyDominance Green, Dominance Blue, and Dominance Red (complete set of 3 works) (1977). East. $30,000 to $50,000.

“These three prints were created by Bridget Riley at Pace Prints in the middle of her career, when she incorporated the bright hues and vibrancy she is known for. In this set of three prints, Riley alternates the colors green, blue and red in identical compositions. The static lines suggest propulsion, swirling and vibrating like a dance of sound. This ensemble is an excellent example of the dizzying qualities characteristic of the avant-garde Op Art movement, of which she was a key figure. —Jannah Greenblatt, Senior Specialist

Julien Opie

Julien Opie, Remember her this way (lie) (2001). East. $20,000 to $30,000.

“The story behind this small edition sculpture is really quite interesting. Visiting the Whitechapel Gallery in East London, the artist walked past a showroom of carved stones on Brick Lane. The showroom belonged at Elves, a company of Jewish monument masons and one of the oldest suppliers of Jewish memorials in the UK It was here that Opie noticed that old way of drawing on stone: the line is first cut and sandblasted, and the groove filled with lead, which is then hammered by hand.This project, three separate pieces of marble placed next to each other, was made at Elfes in collaboration with Beyer Projects, and remains the one of the rare multiples that the artist has made in marble. —Conner Williams, Head of Draws and Multiples


Banksy, Barcode (2004). East. $35,000 to $45,000.

“First appeared on the side of a house in Bristol, England, Banksy’s Barcode is one of the artist’s earliest etchings that is a commentary on both the unethical commercial trade in exotic animals and the entrapment of modern society in consumerism. Ironically, the artist’s relationship to capitalism is in total opposition to the increasingly strong demand for his works on the secondary market. —Lauren Whitton, Specialist

David Hockney

David Hockney, Wind (from the weather series) (1973). East. $30,000 to $50,000.

“Inspired by Katsushika Hokusai’s Edo period ukiyo e woodcuts during his first visit to Japan in 1971, Hockney set out to create his pivot Time serial prints. The set, published in 1973, includes six large format lithographs and serigraphs (three of which are included in this sale). Wind, however, is a nod to the prolific collaboration between Hockney and master printer Kenneth Tyler of Gemini Ltd. in Los Angeles. The Melrose Avenue road sign, where Gemini is located, is prominently depicted in the foreground. This work also includes particular references to Hokusai Ejiri in Suruga Province, employing the use of sheets of paper tossed in the wind. Look closely and you’ll see that Hockney has sneakily included other works from the series on these sheets. Their drift accentuates natural movement and breeze while alluding to themes of the mass circulation of imagery in society. —Diego Arellano, Junior Specialist

Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud, head of a man (1992). East. $20,000 to $30,000.

This year marks the centenary of the birth of Lucien Freud, with retrospective exhibitions at the National Gallery in London and elsewhere to honor the famous artist. In this beautiful print created in 1992, Freud rendered in rich tonalities his friend the artist Leigh Bowery, a subject he painted frequently over a four-year period until Bowery’s sudden death in 1994. Here, Bowery’s head is seen from above, eyes softly closed in apparent introspection. In keeping with his style of painting, Freud drew directly on the copper plate while observing his model. —Sylvie François Sturtevant, specialist

Browse these works, along with 65 others by artists including John Baldessari, Jeff Koons and Alex Katz in the Premier Prints & Multiples auction, live through October 12, 2022. Contact Artnet’s experts for more details on any work.

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